Study: Complying with IRS paperwork will cost $409B

Americans will spend more than 8.9 billion hours complying with paperwork from the Internal Revenue Service this year, which will result in $409 billion of lost productivity, according to a study released Wednesday by the Tax Foundation.


"For decades, the tax code has become more and more detailed, with thousands of additional pages of statutes, regulations, and case law," the free-market group said in its paper. "This added complexity imposes a real cost on the U.S. economy. Tackling the cost of tax complexity to our nation’s economy should be a priority for lawmakers."

The Tax Foundation's study is based on estimates from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The amount of time it will take Americans to comply with tax-filing requirements is equivalent to 4.3 million people spending their time exclusively on tax paperwork, the Tax Foundation said.

People will spend 2.8 billion hours complying with business tax returns this year, which amounts to $147 billion in lost productivity. People will spend 2.6 billion hours complying with individual tax returns, costing $99 billion, according to the study.